SOME amazing discoveries have been found during an excavation of an archaeological site on the fringes of Poole harbour.

The site, dating to the medieval period, features an interesting range of clay built structures alongside industrial activity, found by staff and students from Bournemouth University’s Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Sciences.

One of the structures, a terraced workshop, has evidence of multiple phases of industrial activity and craft production.

Experts believe the small industrial community would have likely witnessed the construction of the nearby Corfe Castle and was possibly part of a network of small industrial groups that inhabited the harbour edges.

Focused on the production of salt, the industrial community identified during the project, is pivotal in understanding the wider medieval economy in the region.

Dr Derek Pitman, project director and BU lecturer, said: “It’s incredible to imagine that this peaceful part of Dorset’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was home to a bustling industrial community. Much of the stunning landscape in this area bears the legacy of millennia of industrial activity and human habituation.

"It’s a real privilege to dig such a site from a time period we know very little about in this area, beyond the focal point of Corfe Castle.”

The excavation is yielding many discoveries including a medieval salt working complex, a Roman pottery kiln and numerous workshops.

Dan Carter, excavation director said: “It’s starting to get very exciting because we are starting to see the remains of vital early industries.”

Kel Barrass, Finds Supervisor, added: “We’ve got some nice medieval ceramics coming out and I am excited to see what we get over the next few weeks.”

The excavation is part of Bournemouth University’s Productive Landscapes, Archaeological Communities and their Environs (PLACE) Project that seeks to understand the relationship between ancient communities and their surrounding landscape of resources. The wider programme includes a range of trial trenches and surveys aimed at understanding the interface between terrestrial and maritime areas.

A public open day, which includes trench tours, experimental archaeology demonstrations, medieval finds talks and an on-site BBQ tales place on July 8.

For more information about the event visit